Oliver Anthony, whose novel “Rich Men North of Richmond” made him essentially a ubiquitous name overnight, appears to have a sense of irony.
In a video he uploaded to YouTube on Friday, he chuckled at the fact that participants in Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate in Milwaukee were forced to listen to his song, regardless of whether they were aware of it or not.
Ten days had passed since Anthony had last posted a video explicitly addressing the events in his life and the responses to his music on the platform, but he said he had a few things he wanted people to know.
“If there is anything for me to address at all with you it’s that — it’s the one thing that has bothered me is seeing people rap politics up into this,” he said about two minutes into the video.
“I’m disappointed to sew — like, it’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them,” he explained. “It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here, like that we’re trying to present the same message.”
Anthony stated that he had tried to be polite to the numerous people who had reached out to him as a result of his sudden popularity, but he believed that many of them only wanted to insert themselves into the attention “Rich Men North of Richmond” was garnering in order to make “their own selves relevant.”
“That’s aggravating as hell,” he said.
However, Anthony’s annoyance transformed to mirth when he considered the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday evening.
“Well, you know, like, it was funny seeing my song in the — it was fun it was funny seeing it at the presidential debate,” he said, “because it’s like I wrote that song about those people, you know.
“So for them to have to sit there and listen to that, that cracks me up,” he said.
Anthony then adopted a tone that was more populist than conservative, suggesting that his song was less anti-Democratic or anti-left and more anti-establishment.
“That song has nothing to do with [President] Joe Biden, you know,” he said. “It’s a lot bigger than Joe Biden.”
“That song is written about the people on the, on that stage — and a lot more too, not just them but but definitely them,” he said.
You can see the entire video here:
For those who choose not to view the video in its entirety, it is likely necessary to note that Anthony did not reserve all of his criticism for those on the right.
“I do hate to see that song being weaponized like I see, I see the right trying to characterize me as one of their own and I see the left trying to, trying to discredit me, I guess in retaliation.”
Anthony didn’t hold back when it came to his reaction about that.
“That s***’s gotta stop,” he said.
“If you watch the response videos on YouTube to this song, it’s not conservative people responding to the song; it’s not even necessarily Americans responding to the song,” he explained. “I don’t know that I’ve seen anything get such positive response from such a diverse group of people.
“And I think that terrifies the people that I sing about in that song,” he said.”